Six January 21, 2014Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
To write every day is The Work. To commit to write every day for publication, even on an increasingly obscure blog, is a recipe for intermittent failure. Yesterday there was no Six in this 365 project, the idea that I write something every day for a year I am comfortable pushing the Publish button with. In The Work, you can try and fail, put down hundreds or thousands of words and revisit them the next day, prompting sending them to the wastebasket.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
— Samuel Beckett
If you are a writer or any other variety of artist; hell if you are anyone of ambition whatsoever, if you do not have these words tattooed on your forearms where they can remind you every moment of every day, I will pause for a moment while you find a sticky note or a bit of tape and paper to put these up on the wall above your writing space, or write them in the fly-leaf of your notebook.
There. That’s better.
Yesterday was a self-inflicted failure, the temptation while unemployed to ignore the clock, to catch an early show by Dave Easley at the Maison and then his late show at The Apple Barrel. In between I met a French bassist (or perhaps Québécois; I didn’t ask) who was wandering Frenchman Street making contacts, sitting in, trying to find gigs. I met a pair of roommates freshly back from Zambia who tried to convince me that the cure for unemployment ennui is the Peace Corps. I heard a shredding modern jazz combo at the Spotted Cat, the home of swing and trad. I finished writing Five while in Check Point Charlies, not precisely the place you would expect to find quiet and a well-lit bar top. I might have gone home earlier if I had not found that bar stool, and had a long conversation about scooters versus motorcycles, exchanged stories of spills we had both taken, the merit of leathers versus the kids in shorts and sandals on the unstable mini-wheels of a Vespa on the minefield streets of New Orleans.
That is The Life, one of the several reasons we live here against all rational sense. It is also, in a way, The Work, collecting the specimens nurtured over beers that are the germ of future posts. I did not scribble in my notebook as I did last week in similar circumstances but I was too lost in Easley’s magic finger on his pedal steel guitar, in the discovery of a new sound at the Cat, in pleasant conversation. I don’t mean to let 365 make a monk of me, or what the hell would I write about?